December 1999

Ty's Evolution

In the two-and-a-half years since my Oasis debut, I have given you, my steady readers, as well as those here for the first time, unequivocal access to my deepest and most personal thoughts, something I rarely allow those closest to me. You've been a witness to events in my life that most of the people who know me in person have absolutely no knowledge of. I've voiced my opinions here on topics that I would never even contemplate discussing with my peers, and in some cases, my parents. I've shared with you my fears, my hopes and dreams, the good times along with the bad ones, and still I remain as mysterious as the secret government witness who tells all in exchange for their anonymity.

The invisible gay teenaged ghostwriter.

When I first came to Oasis I was a scared thirteen-year-old boy in desperate need of a large serving of approval from the Promised Land that I saw the gay community as, but more often than not what landed on my plate was ridicule, scorn, and bullying from the very people I needed the most in those dark days.

I often felt I was onstage in a one actor play facing an audience of jaded critics, people who would try their best to prevent an encore presentation, but I overcame that with something I didn't even know I had.

Raw determination.

Amongst all that negativity there were those who stepped away from the pack and showed me pure compassion, tenderness, and love. They are the people who gave me the will to step up to the plate again after nearly being struck out by the fastballs the naysayers pitched my way. Without them I would be a mere footnote in Oasis history, and they are a major factor in why I'm still here today.

Giving back what they gave me.

Time only moves forward, and now when I look in the mirror I see a teenager who's developing an adult body, now a full head taller than the little boy who two-and-a-half years earlier stared into the same mirror for hours searching in vain for the first telltale signs of puberty. Whether I like it or not, I'm growing up and changing along the way, and those of you who have shared that roller coaster ride with me may want to keep your seatbelts on because it's not over yet. Within a year I'll have a driver's license, I'll be in my junior year of high school, and the question will not be if I want to go to college or not but which ones will I apply to? I don't have a crystal ball to look into and predict the future, but I can't help wondering what my role with Oasis will be, or if I'll even be here a year from now?

I just don't know the answer to that one folks.

While some of you would love me to return to my earlier style of writing, please understand that doing so would be like trying to wear a pair of shoes one size too small...it might look okay but it sure wouldn't be comfortable. I can't be that wide-eyed thirteen-year-old again, but the somewhat cynical young man I've become hasn't forgotten how he felt. Believe me, when a younger guy asks for advice I remember what it was like to be in his shoes, and I try my best to extend the same compassionate hand I once so desperately pined for.

Yesterday is gone, but tomorrow opens another chapter in the book of our lives.

What you write in it is your choice.


Ty is a pseudonym for a fifteen-year-old high school sophomore who lives in the Midwest. In his free time he likes to be with his family, play guitar in a heavy metal band, and ponder what his future will hold for him. He loves hearing from his readers and reads every letter but he doesn't always have time to reply. Be sure to say hello if you see him online!

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